Photos & Projects

The 50mm Sonnar gets a workout in the Gym

September 26, 2015

A good mate of mine, Gianni, is setting up a company to sell high quality weight lifting apparel. As part of his bid to sell this apparel he needed a brand and website setting up. Since I own a company, F8 Creates, that creates brands and makes websites he came to us. As part of that branding process he needed some photos, so up step me with my Leica M3, 50mm Sonnar and a roll of HP5.

As part of the initial branding process we looked at a fair bit of imagery online and came to the conclusion that what would best suit his brand would be some nice black and white, highish contrast slightly grainy photography.

With this in mind, I loaded some HP5 into the Leica M3 mounted the Sonnar and went down Gianni’s Gym. The idea was to capture the feel of a weight lifting gym. We wanted to give a sense of the rawness of the environment with little human touches. We also want to show users of weight lifting gyms things that they will be familiar with. The idea being, this should help build on a sense of familiarity with the brand by associating it with an environment they will already be familiar with.

Once again, thanks to AG Photo Lab for their excellent work. I shot the entire roll at 1/60th and either f/2 or f/1.5 despite the lighting conditions being very dull, quite low and quite changeable within the gym. I sent them the film with the simple instructions of “Push 3 stops and scan to give me reasonably contrasty results” – Considering my haphazard approach and the less than ideal lighting, I think they’ve done an admirable job.

Here are a few of the results:












If you happen to be looking for high quality Weightlifting apparel, keep an eye on this website – Barspun 😉

Cheers for reading


You can find my eventual review of the Zeiss ZM Sonnar here

Support 35mmc

For as little as $1 a month, you can help support the upkeep of 35mmc via Patreon. Alternatively, please feel free to chuck a few pennies in the tip jar via Ko-fi:

Become a Patron!

Learn about where your money goes here.
Would like to write for 35mmc? Find out how here.


  • Reply
    Marc-Olivier Gilbert
    September 27, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Hey Hamish, in what developper do you proceed HP5? I’ve never seen HP5 turn out so well?

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      September 27, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      They were developed by AG Photo Lab, so I have no idea, sorry!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.